My Fujifilm X-T30 Expired Eterna Film Simulation Recipe

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Red Tricycle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

I used to shoot film. I don’t much anymore, but I was one of those crazy holdouts that refused to go digital when it seemed as though everyone else had. Eventually I succumbed, and I’ve been shooting digitally for awhile now. One thing that I appreciate about Fujifilm cameras is that they produce images that are a little more film-like and a little less digital-esque than other camera brands. This shouldn’t surprise anyone as Fujifilm started out as a film company. On Fujifilm cameras one will find many great film simulation options. The most recent addition is Eterna, which is modeled after their motion picture films, but it can be made to resemble color negative film. What I appreciate about film is it has character that’s often lacking in digital cameras.

While Eterna was a motion picture film, it was also made and sold in limited quantities for still photography. A Fuji X Weekly reader recently purchased and used an expired roll of Eterna and shared one of the pictures. Using expired film is always an interesting endeavor because you don’t know exactly what you’ll get. Depending on the film, how long it has been expired and how it was stored, the results can vary significantly. The picture that the Fuji X Weekly reader shared had a purple color cast, which is a common trait of expired film.

There are many reasons why an analog picture might have a purple color cast, not just because the film expired. If the film was exposed to too much heat (such as left in a hot car) the pictures might have a purple cast. If a print or slide isn’t stored correctly it could turn purple over time. I’ve seen cross-processed film produce a purple color cast. You can even buy purple film. While I’ve called this recipe “Expired Eterna,” it’s not necessarily meant to exactly mimic expired Eterna film, but to produce an analog film look that could have turned purple for any number of reasons, including but not limited to being expired.

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American Debt – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

You might notice that I didn’t include an ISO setting in this recipe, and that’s because you can use any ISO you’d like. I got interesting results all the way up to ISO 25600. In fact, you might use an ultra-high ISO on purpose to get a certain look that you can’t get at a lower ISO. Trying this recipe at different ISOs is a fun experiment. It’s also interesting to see the results you get from different exposures, whether slightly overexposed or underexposed. Expired Eterna is a fun recipe to play around with, and I enjoyed pairing it with vintage lenses.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & +5 Blue
Exposure Compensation: -1/3 to +1/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using this recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Bloom Purple – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Pink Paper Flower – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Sunlight Through The Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Backlit Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Rural Evening – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Country Trees – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Cottonwood Trunk – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Little Flowers & Stone – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Rosebud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Country Foot Bridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Boy Behind Chain-Link – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Orange Cones – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Reaching Rosebud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Sycamore Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Dusk Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Mountain View Evening – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Spring Sky Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Sunset Whisper – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Dramatic Sky Behind Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Bright Storm Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Grey Tree – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Disk Girl – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Jo In A Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Wearing Grandpa’s Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Lady’s Sun Hat – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Girl Climbing Bleachers – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Number of Intersecting Lines – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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One Through Six – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Parked RV – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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American Suburb – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Light Flag – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Green Spray Bottle – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Curious Kitchen Curios – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

High ISO:

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Cirrus Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 12800

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Sycamore Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 12800

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Cottonwood – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 12800

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Cottonwood Cotton – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 25600

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Old Wheelbarrow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna” – ISO 25600

“Expired Eterna” for X-Trans III:

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Bottle Vases – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Expired Eterna”

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Alternate recipe using PRO Neg. Std instead of Eterna.

I know that not every Fujifilm camera has the Eterna film simulation. Right now Eterna can only be found on the X-T3, X-T30, X-H1 and the GFX line. For those who don’t have it, I’ve made an alternative recipe that produces similar results using PRO Neg. Std. I found that Shadow set to 0 isn’t quite strong enough, but +1 is too strong, so pick whichever you like better. While the results aren’t 100% identical, it’s still a pretty close match. You do have to drop the exposure by about 1/3 stop compared to using Eterna. I hope that this is useful for some of you.

PRO Neg. Std
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +1
Shadow: 0
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: -2
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & +5 Blue
Exposure Compensation: -2/3 to 0

My Fujifilm X-T30 Eterna Film Simulation Recipe

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25th Street – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

Eterna is beautiful. Fujifilm’s most recent film simulation, Eterna, has a lot of potential for creating lovely color negative film aesthetics. Even though it has the lowest contrast and lowest color saturation of all the different film simulation options, I suspect that it has significant potential for mimicking many analog looks. It has a film-like feel to it.

Real Eterna was a motion picture film. You’ve likely seen movies and television shows captured on Eterna and didn’t even know it. While Fujifilm invented and intended the Eterna film simulation for video use, which it is quite good for, they made it available for still photographs on X-Trans IV cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T30, as well as GFX cameras and the X-H1. Unfortunately, if you don’t have one of those cameras you can’t use this recipe. [Update: if your camera doesn’t have Eterna, you can use this alternative (click here)]

I wasn’t trying to mimic the look of any particular film when I invented this recipe. I was just playing around with the settings and really liked what I found. It has an analog feel to it. Initially the look reminded me of something from Nik Anolog Efex. As I used these settings, I found myself getting interesting results. Depending on the lighting and exposure, I was achieving different looks, despite using the exact same settings. Sometimes the results remind me of overexposed Fujifilm 400H, sometimes pushed-process Fujifilm Superia 400, sometimes underexposed expired Superia 800, and sometimes Superia 1600. Occasionally it doesn’t resemble any of those films. It’s not supposed to look like any specific film, yet it often does, but results vary.

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Gathering Raindrops – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

I have always included a typical exposure compensation in my different film simulation recipes, but I didn’t do that this time because you get different results with different exposures. You can select -1 exposure compensation and you can select +1 exposure compensation, or anything in-between, and achieve various looks. You have to play around with it and decide what you like. Also, while I have Auto-ISO set to ISO 6400, I really feel that the best results are found at ISO 3200 or lower. You’ll have to decide how high you want to go with the ISO. For those using this on the X-H1, which doesn’t have Color Chrome Effect, you’ll get very similar results but it will be slightly different.

Eterna
Dynamic Range: DR100
Highlight: +4
Shadow: +4
Color: +4
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Strong
Color Chrome Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +5 Red & -6 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400

Below are all camera-made JPEGs captured using this Eterna Film Simulation recipe on my Fujifilm X-T30 camera:

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Fake Plants For Sale – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Light Lens – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Trapped Inside – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Franklin – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Wildcat Radial – Layton, Utah – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Evening Orange – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Cleanup Tools – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Red Tile – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Tops – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Kodak 35mm Film – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Longing – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Ball In The Grass – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Blooming Red Tulip – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Wee Wet White Flowers – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Daffodil Drops – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Spring or Autumn? – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Love – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Siblings Playing On A Tablet – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Joyful – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Don, Walt & Mickey – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Brick & Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Taste On Sale – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Jarred Pig – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Neon Dragon – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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Neon Reflection – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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25th Street & Lincoln Avenue – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Eterna Film Simulation

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The X-T30 has Fujifilm’s latest film simulation: Eterna. The only other cameras that have Eterna are the X-H1 and the X-T3. This film simulation mimics the look of actual Eterna film, which was a motion picture film that also had a very limited run for still photography. You’ve likely seen movies and television shows that were captured on Eterna and just didn’t know it. I’ve never shot this film myself, so I have no personal experience with it.

I was quite excited to try the Eterna film simulation. It is the lowest contrast and lowest saturated color film simulation that Fujifilm offers, kind of the antithesis of Velvia. It definitely has a cinematic quality to it. It makes lovely pictures that have a softer feel, but I think it requires the right lighting and the right subject to really work. Below you’ll find a few images that I created using the Eterna film simulation. At some point, once I’ve played around with it more, I’ll make a film simulation recipe that uses Eterna.

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Johanna Eating A Cracker – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

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What Do You Want? – Layton, UT – Fujifim X-T30 – Eterna

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Empty Church Pews – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Eterna

Last year I made an Eterna film simulation recipe, but one that doesn’t use Eterna. Instead, it uses PRO Neg. Std, and it’s designed for X-Trans III cameras that don’t have Eterna. It’s “Eterna” for those who don’t have Eterna. It was a guess, since I had not used the actual film or the film simulation, but had only seen some samples online. Now that I’ve had a chance to use the Eterna Film Simulation, I can say that it was close but not quite right. Below you’ll find my updated faux “Eterna” film simulation recipe:

PRO Neg. STD
Dynamic Range: DR400
Hightlight: +2
Shadow: -2
Color: -3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: 0
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, 0 Red and 0 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3

Here’s a comparison of real Eterna and fake Eterna:

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Eterna Film Simulation

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Faux “Eterna” using PRO Neg. Std

I debated about the Highlight setting. I feel that +2 is too much but +1 is not enough (if only there was a +1.5 option). I went with the brighter option, but +1 is a legitimate choice, so you’ll have to decide which you like better. I also debated on the Color setting, as -3 is almost not saturated enough, but I felt that -2 was too saturated, so there’s another choice that you’ll have to make. Another thing I went back and forth on was the White Balance Shift, as I think -1 Blue or even +1 Red and -1 Blue could be justified, so there’s another thing to consider. There are different settings that can be fine-tuned to taste, but I think overall this is pretty close to actual Eterna for those who don’t have Eterna.

See also:
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: D-Range Priority
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: B&W Toning
Fujifilm X-T30 – New Feature: Color Chrome Effect